SOMERS, N.Y.-Pitted against teams with a much larger enrollment such as North Rockland and Arlington, the Somers boys track and field team knew it would be an uphill battle to win a Class A sectional title.
The Tuskers left everything on the Armory track and finished in second place behind North Rockland, 79-70, at the Class A meet on Saturday, Feb. 10.
“It means a lot for a small school like us to compete with perennial powerhouses that often have more than double the kids we do,” Somers senior captain Greg Fusco said. “All in all it just shows how great the Somers team aspect is and how coaches and athletes can work to be the most efficient and get the most out of everyone.”
Somers coach Jesse Arnett was extremely proud of the boys and noted that “this was first time a small (school) team finished so high in the new Class A division on the boys side.”
“It was a great meet filled with determination, guts and emotion,” Arnett said. “Our goal was to win but being the underdog I am very proud of these boys. It was an amazing day as a team and I don’t want to point out any individuals because this meet was a team approach 100 percent.
“I’m so proud of this team. Congratulations to North Rockland on a great win. Every competitor on the Somers team went out and left it all on the track. We entered as boys and left as men. We finished second but the will to win on this team was a dominant force to be reckoned with and will go down in history as the biggest team accomplishment in the new Class A championship division.”
Fusco won a Section 1 title in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:24.66. He was in the middle of the pack for much of the race but turned up the heat during the final lap to pull ahead of his brother, Matt, who took second (4:25.90).
“We both were definitely a little tired so we again tried to stay away from the lead as long as possible,” Greg said. “We knew it would come down to the last 400 meters so I just made sure I was in a good spot to move, because the race was physical early on, and I was able to get a really good jump on the field with a lap to run.”
Matt was a section champion in the 3,200 meters (9:29.95). The twins switched places with Greg placing second (9:37.32). The brothers contributed a total of 46 out of the team’s 70 points.
“In the 3,200 we wanted to make it as smooth as possible because we both knew we would have a tough time doubling and tripling back (in events),” Greg said. “Matt and another kid broke away and we just had to listen to our coaches and make sure that we would still be able to get the most amount of points possible.”
The dynamic duo was also part of the 4x800-meter relay, which placed first in 8:17.90 to also claim a section title. Chris Hannon and Mike Altieri were the other members of the relay.
“The 4x8 was just about being consistent,” Greg Fusco said. “Chris ran a great lead off and kept us in a great position to have Matt and Mike get to the front of the field. We went into it knowing the team battle was close and everyone ran to keep us where we had to be.”
Numan Maloney had a strong showing in the high jump, finishing second with a leap of 6-1. He was also third on the long jump (20-4 1/2) and ninth in the triple jump (40-2).
Michael Altieri reached the state qualifying standard in the pole vault, taking second with a 13-0. Griffin Carpiniello was eighth (11-0). After competing in the pole vault, he immediately sprinted over to run in the 4x800.
Mike Somoza finished fifth in the 55-meter dash (6.67) and was 13th in the 300 meters (37.10). James McHugh was 11th in the weight throw (41-8). Hunter Goldman leaped to eighth in the long jump (20-4 1/2).
Leading the girls team was Emma Kittredge, who was third in the high jump (4-9). Clare Keane was behind her in fifth in the same event.
“We had four class records and one overall school record,” Somers girls coach Evan Delfs said. “On a day where we prioritized personal bests rather than maximizing our team score, many girls had great days, achieving new personal records and closing their season on a high note.”
Elisabeth Van Tassell was fourth in the pole vault (9-3) and took ninth in the 1,000 meters (3:07.95, personal record). Nieve Mahood wasn’t far behind Van Tassell, taking 11th in the 1,000 meters in 3:09.61. She set a freshman class record and also ran the fastest time on the 4x400 relay to set a new freshman/sophomore relay record.
Ashley Moon was sixth in 55-meter dash (7.5) and eighth in the 300 meters (42.34). Kellie Kottmann took fifth in the 600 meters (1:39.13) and set a junior class record.
Ella Kittredge was 10th in the 1,500 meters (4:58.48) and qualified for the freshman race at Nationals. Anjali Kapur came in 12th in the 1,500. Christina Abrenica took eighth in the triple jump (32-4 3/4). Amanda Burns was eighth in the shot put (31-11 1/4). Keelyn Foley took 12th in the 1,500-meter race walk (9:04.63). Tori Pagliaro broke her own school record with a 36-2 1/2 in the weight throw and placed 14th.